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The Comet Nucleus - Windows to the Universe

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This is a drawing of what the surface of a comet might look like.
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JPL

The Comet Nucleus

A comet nucleus is the very center of the comet. It is solid and is made of a special sort of dust which scientists call "fluffy". They call it fluffy because it is full of holes and could be very light.

At this point, scientists do not know whether the nucleus is very hard, like solid ground, or very soft, like a snowball.

Scientists are going to use the Rosetta mission to land a probe on the surface of a comet! This and other comet missions will certainly help scientists understand the very center of comets!

Last modified June 22, 2005 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF